In an effort to increase the internet penetration in the country, RailTel, the telecom wing of the Indian Railway has signed an agreement with the subsidiary of Google India to provide free Wi-Fi facilities at 400 stations across the country.
In a written reply to Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said that RailTel Corporation of India Ltd (RCIL), a PSU under Railway Ministry has signed an agreement with Mahataa Information India Pvt Ltd (MIIPL), an arm of Google Inc, to equip 400 stations with Wi-Fi in two phases.
The first phase will cover as many as 100 stations out of the total A1 and A categories. And the facility would be extended to 300 stations in the second phase. Non-suburban stations with an annual passenger earning of more than Rs 60 crore are categorised as A1 stations, while those with yearly passenger income from Rs 8 crore to Rs 60 crore fall under the category of A stations.
We’d like to help get these next billion Indians online—so they can access the entire web and all of its information and opportunity. And not just with any old connection—with fast broadband so they can experience the best of the web.
“It will also be fast—many times faster than what most people in India have access to today, allowing travelers to stream a high definition video while they’re waiting, research their destination, or download some videos, a book or a new game for the journey ahead,” Pichai added.
Going by the reports, Mumbai Central is expected to be among the first railway stations to boast of free Wi-Fi. The service will be free for the first 30 minutes after which users have to pay a particular amount for the usage, much like how users access free internet on the airport. Google has promised high-speed connectivity with the ability to download a movie in just four minutes.
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